Nike’s ‘footballverse’ goes back to the future with all-star team

Whatever the politics of the World Cup, it’s always going to bring out the best in Nike and Wieden+Kennedy.

This new “Footballverse” ad manipulates time and space to bring together a bunch of famous footballers, including Ronaldo, Mbappé, Ronaldinho, De Bruyne, and Foden, in a playful four minute film.

There are some great touches, like when Ronaldo questions his younger self’s choice of haircut. It’s like a souped-up metaverse version of Adidas’ sublime 2006 World Cup ad, in which two young boys are the managers of their own fantasy football teams.

As part of Nike’s campaign, football fans can visit a Footballverse experience in Nikeland on Roblox, where they can compete against their friends in the Nike Cup Clash.

Nike said: “‘Footballverse’ exemplifies Nike’s long-standing belief that the future of sport has infinite potential – and encourages a new generation of footballers to prove it. Every generation of athletes makes a unique footprint on the game, expands the sport, and inspires future generations to leave their mark.”

It’s good to see an upbeat football commercial, and while this one stops short of celebrating Qatar, it does, just perhaps, start to generate a bit of positivity and excitement about the 2022 World Cup. Well timed.

MAA creative scale: 8

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall is a journalist and editorial consultant and is the former Europe Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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